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Apple Loses China Trademark Case for “Iphone” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man uses his iPhone near an Apple retails store in Beijing, China, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

BEIJING- On a legal case, Apple Inc. has lost a fight with a Chinese company that according to Beijing court it is said that it allowed using the iPhone name on its leather goods.

Xintong Tiandi was allowed to carry on using the phrase “iPhone” on its products, according to the Legal Daily, the official newspaper of China’s Justice Ministry, that reported the aforementioned which was the decision issued by the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court.

The company said they plan to request a retrial with the Supreme People’s Court and will continue to strongly defend our trademark rights, in a statement that reflects Apple’s disappointment with the ruling. This was not the first time, as this American company has frequently faces such cases where it found itself stuck in intellectual property disputes in China.

Both Tiandi’s trademark and Apple’s iPhone where launched and produced in the same year, where the leather goods trademark was created in 2007, the 1st year the iphone went on sale. Apple’s plea was dismissed, as according to the Beijing court the U.S. firm could not prove the “iPhone” brand was well-known in China before 2009, when it first started selling the handsets on the mainland.

In 2002, Apple applied for the “iPhone” trademark for computer hardware and software in China, but that was only approved in 2013.

Apple paid $60 million in 2012 to end a protracted legal dispute over the iPad trademark in China, noting that Apple has been facing tough times in Greater China.

Last week, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said he had sold his entire stake in the firm. He cited risks to the stock because of the economic slowdown in the People’s Republic and worries about how the country could become more prohibitive in doing business.